Solid dictionary skills are a crucial element of successful English-language learning, and these dictionary e-lessons are designed to help you pass on these skills to your students. In each e-lesson we offer full teaching notes and photocopiable worksheets on key elements of dictionaries, ranging from simple tasks like using guide words, to more detailed discussion about metaphor, idioms and phrases.
You can search the e-lessons archive by dictionary. Select the dictionary in the top right corner, then click on the ‘Search the Archive’ button.
Getting the right stress in English words
One of the keys to sounding fluent in English lies in getting the stress right – placing slightly more emphasis on one part of a word (one syllable) than on all the rest. This e-lesson asks students to work out how many syllables different words have, and to identify where the stress should fall, using the ‘stress markers’ in the Macmillan Essential Dictionary to help them.
Finding your way around in the dictionary
Many words in English have more than one meaning, and belong to more than one word class. The aim of this lesson is to prepare students for situations where their dictionary work brings them into contact with two or more occurrences of the same headword, in two or more different word classes. The exercises on the worksheet will help students to distinguish between the different meanings and word classes, and make better use of the dictionary entry.
Love at first sight
What words can you use with love, and which ones should you avoid? This collocations e-lesson helps you find out.
Dreams and nightmares
The words dream and nightmare can be used in a number of different ways – this e-lesson helps students untangle which meaning to use when, and what collocations they should be looking for in each case.
Rain, wind and snow
The words rain, wind and snow can be used in a number of different ways – this e-lesson helps students untangle which meaning to use when, and what collocations they should be looking for in each case.
Using adjectives or adverbs with adjectives allows students to expand on an idea and make it sound more fluent and natural. This e-lesson helps them develop these skills.
Using the ‘friends’ of a noun
Using the right adjective with a noun allows students to sound more fluent and natural in their speaking and writing. This e-lesson helps them develop these skills.
Certain nouns form the core or ‘DNA’ of a text and from here, information can be added and ideas developed. This e-lesson helps students develop these skills.
Orange is it
Different colours can make us think and feel in very different ways. This Macmillan English Dictionary e-lesson considers how big companies use colour to encourage us to choose their products over their competitors’. It goes on to look at some of the many words and phrases in English that are associated with, or use, colour.
Where do new words come from?
There are many different ways for a new word to enter the English language, from compounding and borrowing to shortening and reassigning meaning. This Macmillan English Dictionary e-lesson features an article on how new words come into being, and presents a selection of common words and phrases whose origins students may not previously have understood.